U.S. Ports Could Benefit From Volkswagen Settlement
The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) believes that U.S. ports and their surrounding communities stand to benefit from the recent announcement of a partial Volkswagen settlement with the federal government and the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
The agreement relates to the sale of Volkswagen cars with defective air emissions equipment. Included in the consent decree agreement, the German automaker will pay $2.7 billion to mitigate air emissions and $2 billion to invest in green vehicle technology in areas where its defective cars are in operation.
The mitigation part of the agreement is to pay for reducing nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions. It states that port projects, such as those related to port drayage trucks, rail freight switchers, ferries/tugs, ocean-going vessels using shore power and federal Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) projects, are eligible for funding.
The green technology part of the agreement is to promote zero emissions vehicles, including on-road heavy duty vehicles such as those that haul goods to and from America’s ports.
No plans to step down
Meanwhile, Volkswagen's brand chief, Herbert Diess, is not planning to resign even though he is the subject of investigation by public prosecutors, he told a German newspaper.
The carmaker said late last month that prosecutors in Braunschweig were investigating Diess as part of a probe into whether Europe's carmaker violated disclosure and market manipulation rules by taking too long to inform investors it had cheated emissions tests.
"It's not up for debate," Diess told Sueddeutsche Zeitung in an interview published on Monday, when asked if he had thought about stepping down as a result of the probe.
He added the investigation had taken him by surprise and that he had first heard about it when asked by the media.
Volkswagen's reputation will take 12-18 months to recover from the crisis, although a strategic turnaround will take up to 14 years, Diess added.
The company needed to shift its strategic focus to employ more information technology and battery experts, Diess said. The shift would take "two vehicle generations" to be implemented, he said. Modern cars have a lifecycle of around seven years. "We must become more efficient, or else we won't be able to afford the transformation," he added.